Pop: Dangerously close to a good gig

Royal Trux Highbury Garage, London

Royal Trux

Highbury Garage, London

The touts seem to think the band are called "King Trucks" for some reason; the weather is extremely balmy - and there's a dead ringer for The Dude from The Big Lebowski hanging around the bar. It's a strange kind of night, as a packed crowd seems in severe danger of being entertained by , a band whose ten year career has rarely seen them raise such expectations. Once better known for their reputedly prodigious drug intake than their frequently unlistenable records - no matter how much they dressed it up in talk of "harmolodic theory" it still sounded random to the best trained ears - former Pussy Galore guitarist Neil Hagerty and partner Jennifer Herrema are on something of a roll at the moment. A recent dalliance with corporate money has left them with a studio in their rural West Virginia base, and the master tapes of their finest record to date, Accelerator - probably the best seventies album released this decade. Hagerty has even written a novel, a monkey allegory - more Planet of the Apes than Will Self.

Despite worrying rumours that Hagerty and Herrema, the most studiedly out-of-it couple in rock since Keef and Anita, are "looking well", such tittle-tattle proves unfounded as the Trux lurch into "Banana Question" from Accelerator. Herrema, grunting into the mike from under a huge cowboy hat, has forsaken her usual trick of wearing her hair under the lenses of her shades, which makes her strangely reminiscent of something from Michael Bentine's Potty Time, but reassuringly it still proves impossible to work out which way she's facing. Hagerty leads the band (which consists of David Pajo of Aerial M on undemanding bass, a stressed looking drummer, and Chicago scene all-rounder Rian Murphy on backing vocals and, um, tambourine) with astounding vigour, and it sounds great, joyously insincere like the Velvets kicking off with "We're Gonna Have A Real Good Time Together". Clearly all those years listening to crappy FM rock stations weren't wasted after all. Hell, as they crash through the magnificently inane "Juicy Juicy Juice" and the wake up call of "I'm Ready", Hagerty even manages a few artful Ted Nugent flourishes on his Gibson, though you doubt whether he can hit a deer at two miles with crossbow.

Sadly they can't keep it up. The Trux meander through some of their back catalogue, and Hagerty noodles away like Bernard Butler after finding Brett Anderson's secret stash. The catchy "RayOVac" teeters on the edge of collapse, and though "You're Gonna Lose" pounds hard, by the end of the tepid blues finale it feels like day nine at Woodstock, with the short term forecast unpromising. Encore "Yellow Kid" saves the day, its blatant Dylanisms, enhanced by their tuneless croaking and Herrema's outstandingly feeble handclaps. Regrettably we don't get a version of the wonderful Segal tribute "Stevie", but if they could only keep this standard up for a whole set they might one day become the rock stars they've always portrayed so well. After all, they've never sounded better.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Arts and Entertainment
booksPhotographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years - but he says it wasn’t all fun and games...
News
i100
Sport
Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
footballManchester City 3 Bayern Munich 2: Argentine's late hat-rick sees home side snatch vital victory
News
Muhammad Ali pictured in better health in 2006
peopleBut he has enjoyed publicity from his alleged near-death experience
Arts and Entertainment
Tony breaks into Ian Garrett's yacht and makes a shocking discovery
TVReview: Revelations continue to make this drama a tough watch
News
news
News
peopleSinger tells The Independent what life is like in rehab in an exclusive video interview
News
The assumption that women are not as competent in leadership positions as men are leads to increased stress in the workplace
science... and it's down to gender stereotypes
Arts and Entertainment
Inner sanctum: Tove Jansson and friends in her studio in 1992
booksWhat was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Singer songwriter Bob Dylan performs on stage
films
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Lawyer - Cheshire

    Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CHESHIRE MARKET TOWN - An exciting and rare o...

    Austen Lloyd: Residential Property Solicitor - Hampshire

    Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE - SENIOR POSITION - An exciti...

    Recruitment Genius: Gas Installation Engineer

    £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Engineer is required ...

    Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor

    £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor is req...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
    Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

    Putin’s far-right ambition

    Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
    Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

    Escape to Moominland

    What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
    Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

    24-Hour party person

    Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
    Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

    A taste for rebellion

    US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
    Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

    Colouring books for adults

    How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
    Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

    What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

    Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
    Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

    Call me Ed Mozart

    Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
    10 best stocking fillers for foodies

    Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

    From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
    Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

    Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

    Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
    'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

    'I am a paedophile'

    Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
    How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

    How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

    Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
    Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

    From a lost deposit to victory

    Green Party on the march in Bristol
    Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

    Winter blunderlands

    Putting the grot into grotto
    'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

    'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

    London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital